Mindfully imbibing alcohol

burt tomato

burt tomato

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#21
my dad usually offers me an alcoholic beverage once a day. A red wine, or a spirit liqueur. I find it keeps me mellow.
 
Chopsy

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#22
i had a little alcohol yesterday & today also after eating. It's not usual for me to drink alcohol :)

:wine: cheers!
 
Kerome

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#23
Well thank you guys for showing a little solidarity. I think my little adventure with mindful consumption of alcohol has shown that there are many little useful meditations you can do with it, but you shouldn’t expect it to be life changing. It can smooth the road, that is all. It’s certainly helped me over some difficult spots.

At the same time it is also a very addictive and physically damaging drug, which doesn’t always play well with different kinds of medication. It’s worth monitoring your drinking and especially how much you think about drinking... if you often get an impulse of “let’s have a drink”, then you know you’re probably in trouble with your alcohol consumption.
 
Kerome

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#24
I’ve found some interesting information including that George Gurdjieff, the early 20th century mystic, also used to drink quite a bit. He had this to say about it:

“There are schools which make use of narcotics in the right way. People in these schools take them for self-study; in order to take a look ahead, to know the possibilities better, to see beforehand, ‘in advance,’ what can be attained later on as the result of prolonged work. When a man sees this and is convinced that what he has learned theoretically really exists, he then works consciously, he knows where he is going. Sometimes this is the easiest way of being convinced of the real existence of those possibilities which man often suspects in himself.”

“Gurdjieff, who had an unusual capacity for drink, made a careful distinction between ordinary drinking and conscious drinking which could free the ‘I’ to think, feel, talk and act; that is, to expose ‘essence’”

This speaks more to the uses of alcohol in general self study and meditation than in mindfulness, but it’s still interesting. I’ll write more about the Gurdjieff angle as I catch up on my reading.
 
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Kerome

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#25
It’s always been controversial though.

On the one hand Gurdjieff says it is essential in knowing yourself, in freeing yourself from restraints and letting the inner parts of awareness come forth. He would drink significant amounts, he would have these toasts of Armagnac to the “world’s idiots” which would run to eight or nine rounds, which would have to be drunk “honestly”. The purpose of which was mostly to observe his students as they became more intoxicated.

On the other hand Osho said: “My methods are different from George Gurdjieff′s. I am not in favor of any alcoholic beverages. I am not in favor of any psychedelic drugs either, because they all create illusory worlds for you and they all are distractions. They make you more and more oblivious of your own being, unaware of your own self.”
 
Poopy Doll

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#26
Hi Kerome. I've been following this thread. For me, Japanese Saki was like a medicine when I got hysterical on rare occasions. It lay me out on the couch and stopped the extreme nausea. So for me it was medicinal. This led me into learning not to get hysterical in the first place. Because as helpful as the Saki was, I would be horrendously depressed thereafter.

In my way of thinking, if something is very helpful at first but then turns bad, it is of the tamas quality. If something is very helpful and has no drawback, it is of the satvic quality.
 
Kerome

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#27
Tamas (philosophy) - Wikipedia

Interesting, so tamas is “darkness or inertia”. While I dont think alcohol is unalloyed good or purity, other than in the chemical sense, it certainly has medicinal uses. I don’t know where I’d fit it into your system. It definitely is sedating, so in that sense inertia is not totally inappropriate.

I find your experience with the sake a nice illustration of how alcohol can be useful Poopy. In the 19th century alcohol or rather strong brandy was one of the doctors tools, they used it against hysteria and as a sedative during operations.
 
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ramboghettouk

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#28
zen and the art of been an alcoholic, sounds good to me
 
Mayfair

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#29
Interesting reading Kerome.

I think these days it's difficult to talk about 'cultural differences' with alcohol consumption.

History tells us about alcohol tolerance, and its affects. Western people (the ones who have consumed alcohol for hundreds/into the thousands of years) - have far more tolerance than certain other cultures or races.

In Britain/europe we drank beer/wine because the alternative was water and cholera! In the far-east they used boiling water and tea. Hence huge differences in today's world with tolerance levels and exposure to it. If you are of 'western' decent, then I think 1 beer per day won't harm you at all. Though I'm not a doctor!

The highest percentage problems with alcohol are the people most recently exposed to it - i.e since industrial revolution, so 300-400 years, and this is people like aboriginals, native americans, and eskimos, to name a few.
 
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ramboghettouk

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#30
Interesting reading Kerome.

I think these days it's difficult to talk about 'cultural differences' with alcohol consumption.

History tells us about alcohol tolerance, and its affects. Western people (the ones who have consumed alcohol for hundreds/into the thousands of years) - have far more tolerance than certain other cultures or races.

In Britain/europe we drank beer/wine because the alternative was water and cholera! In the far-east they used boiling water and tea. Hence huge differences in today's world with tolerance levels and exposure to it. If you are of 'western' decent, then I think 1 beer per day won't harm you at all. Though I'm not a doctor!

The highest percentage problems with alcohol are the people most recently exposed to it - i.e since industrial revolution, so 300-400 years, and this is people like aboriginals, native americans, and eskimos, to name a few.
some say it's genetic and related to a gene that codes for an enzyme that breaks down alcohol
 
Mayfair

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#31
some say it's genetic and related to a gene that codes for an enzyme that breaks down alcohol
well exactly rambo. Genetics are passed from one generation to the next, so over thousands of years, some races are more susceptible to a lack of alcohol tolerance and hence are more likely to become addicted.

Jews are said to be the oldest race that have consumed alcohol, and they also have the lowest percentage of alcoholics, even though many if not most can drink alcohol without commiting sins.

Italians, french (and many europeans) are next in line, for drinking most but least susceptible to alcoholism.

We're next in line with the irish, and hence a similar but less tolerance than many americans, as most of them come from places in all these categories.
 
Kerome

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#32
Just in the interest of keeping the thread on the topic of the mindful experience of alcohol, I thought I would add something about the differences between whisky and wine, which I don’t drink often these days.

Wine in short has a smoother impulse, a more mellow sensation than whisky, which can have a powerful high. Wine also has a more gentle euphoria, a smooth and creamy feeling. Beer for example gives more a sensation of motion, perhaps derived from the bubbles in some way. The feeling of euphoria is distinctly different - whereas whisky can give an uplifted feeling of infinite energy, wine gives something much more mellow and gentle.

Whisky on the other hand can have several different effects in my experience. It can have a strong bubbly effect, but like noisy small bubbles. Or it can have a strong and more smooth effect. The euphoria can last several hours, the later stages longer.
 
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ramboghettouk

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#33
Just in the interest of keeping the thread on the topic of the mindful experience of alcohol, I thought I would add something about the differences between whisky and wine, which I don’t drink often these days.

Wine in short has a smoother impulse, a more mellow sensation than whisky, which can have a powerful high. Wine also has a more gentle euphoria, a smooth and creamy feeling. Beer for example gives more a sensation of motion, perhaps derived from the bubbles in some way. The feeling of euphoria is distinctly different - whereas whisky can give an uplifted feeling of infinite energy, wine gives something much more mellow and gentle.

Whisky on the other hand can have several different effects in my experience. It can have a strong bubbly effect, but like noisy small bubbles. Or it can have a strong and more smooth effect. The euphoria can last several hours, the later stages longer.
i'd rather avoid the hard stuff
 
Kerome

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#34
For me, Japanese Saki was like a medicine when I got hysterical on rare occasions. It lay me out on the couch and stopped the extreme nausea. So for me it was medicinal. This led me into learning not to get hysterical in the first place. Because as helpful as the Saki was, I would be horrendously depressed thereafter.
I also feel alcohol can be medicinal at times.

It’s interesting that Chogyam Trungpa also recommended Sake to his followers as the drink of choice. They used to have rituals with all the monks taking it in little sips, trying to take just enough for the ego to “drop away” and no more. I believe that corresponds to the talkative phase of the inebriation process, so quite early on, maybe the equivalent of a couple of glasses of wine.

Sake contains 15-20% alcohol, so it is somewhere around a fortified wine or port, depending on the brand and whether it is diluted — which is something they often do.
 
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ramboghettouk

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#36
I also feel alcohol can be medicinal at times.

It’s interesting that Chogyam Trungpa also recommended Sake to his followers as the drink of choice. They used to have rituals with all the monks taking it in little sips, trying to take just enough for the ego to “drop away” and no more. I believe that corresponds to the talkative phase of the inebriation process, so quite early on, maybe the equivalent of a couple of glasses of wine.

Sake contains 15-20% alcohol, so it is somewhere around a fortified wine or port, depending on the brand and whether it is diluted — which is something they often do.
theres a lot of talk about medicinal cannnabis and cbd if your an old hippy
 
Kerome

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#37
I found this piece about Osho on alcohol today, and thought I would add it. Basically he says that alcohol helps you forget your troubles, anxieties and worries, and that in meditation you find a blissfulness which goes beyond that, so that you end up not needing it once you progress far enough. He also says that alcohol is the opposite process from becoming more conscious, that rather than making all the parts of you conscious it is making all of you unconscious, and that for people with a lot of worries this can be a descent into a kind of hell, that alcohol doesn’t help you ultimately.

Osho on Alcohol | a little bit of truth can…
 
Poopy Doll

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#38
Osho on alcohol was a very interesting thing to read.

The medications I am on are in no way taken for the same motivations as the drugs and alcohol Osho wrote about. I just wonder if meditation is possible with psych drugs, Kerome, as I seem to be lacking in meditative skills.

I do not wake up in bliss about being here and now. Mostly I feel lost in the material world. Osho seems to think the ideal is to be in bliss. But there is also the agony of separation.
 
Poopy Doll

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#39
I guess you got all your answers about mindfully imbibing alcohol from Osho now. We have a brewery here in town called the Funky Buddha. They make specialty beers.

Do you think everyone who drinks beer is running away from something ??
 
Kerome

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#40
Lol, no I only found the piece from Osho on alcohol much later, I originally did the series of experiments in drinking alcohol and meditating from the standpoint of pure curiosity, just wanting to see what it’s like.

I do agree with you Poopy that there are some difficult and unresolved questions about meditating while under the influence of mind-altering drugs. Anti psychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilisers like lithium, they could all prevent you from having experiences caused by meditation such as bliss or happiness or their opposite. The Buddhists for example describe entry to the first jhana, a significant spiritual happening, as being marked by blissful feelings.

But at the same time there are testimonials by monks and gurus that when you reach a certain level of consciousness, no amount of alcohol will affect you. That you will just feel much the same as you always do, until presumably you fall over from alcohol poisoning. So perhaps meditation is still possible.

A lot of Osho’s standpoint is based on moving beyond the mind to a place of no-mind, where bliss is the natural state. He talks about that as being the goal of meditation. I’ve not been there, my usual state is closer to a Buddhist equanimity... perhaps because of medication, I don’t know.